Mom cherishes daughter's smile
A fund is set up for the funeral of Teysia Aku, 2, struck by an SUV
Two-year-old Teysia Aku had lived in a Punaluu studio apartment with her family for less than a week before she was killed in the driveway.
"Everything happens too fast," said her mother, Chantell Burke.
Burke, 22, gathered with family and friends at the North Windward Baptist Church in Hauula yesterday to discuss Teysia's funeral services.
On Tuesday, Teysia and her 4-year-old brother, Keaka, were hit by a sport utility vehicle backing out of the family's driveway. A 24-year-old Punaluu woman, a relative of the family, backed the Chevy Trailblazer into the children at the Countryside Cabins rental home complex. Teysia's father, Adam Aku, 23, said children often would play in the unpaved driveway.
Burke said she was grateful for the support from the community. "We mostly need prayers, comfort for us to get through this," she said.
Church members have started a Teysia Aku Fund at Bank of Hawaii to pay for funeral services. A donation can be made at any Bank of Hawaii branch.
Burke, fiance Aku and their four children had moved into the studio apartment in Punaluu on March 1 because it was bigger than their one-bedroom unit.
At the time of the accident, Burke was sleeping with her 2-month-old son, Moses, she said.
Her oldest son came running in telling her Teysia was hit and bleeding. She went outside and saw her daughter lying on the ground.
"That's the worst thing I've ever seen in my life," Burke said. "I was just talking to her. She kissed me while I was sleeping. She wanted to go to my parents' house."
She remembers Teysia was always smiling. "She was really sassy. She liked to dress up, put on makeup. She loved taking pictures," she said.
Her father also had a close relationship with Teysia. "He's really heartbroken right now," she said.
Keaka, with fresh scars on his face, attended the gathering. He smiled slightly for photographs with his parents.
"He's strong. He won't talk about it," Burke said, adding that when people ask him where his sister is, he says, "Yeah, she's with Jesus."